International water activist Mina Guli has arrived in Africa for the RUN BLUE campaign
Nairobi, 13 June 2022 – Water advocate, ultra-marathon runner and businesswoman Mina Guli arrived in Kenya on Saturday, 11 June, to kick off the African leg of the RUN BLUE Campaign, which will see her completing 200 marathons around the world by March next year.
Australian-born Guli is the CEO of Thirst Foundation, a non-profit organisation delivering ground-breaking action to protect the world’s freshwater resources. The purpose of the RUN BLUE campaign is to raise awareness, to demonstrate the urgency of the water problem we are facing and to drive commitments to concrete action on water by governments, companies and organisations across the world in advance of the UN Water Conference in March 2023.
The campaign started on 22 March 2022 (World Water Day) in Australia and Guli has just completed the Central Asia stage, where she ran 14 marathons in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan (for an overall campaign total of 41). ‘Over the last few weeks I have run past old fishing boats stranded in what are now desert sands of the Aral Sea, through communities and along the Amu Darya River up to its source high in the Pamir Mountains – the Fedchenko Glacier’ said Guli, addressing the UN High Level Meetings held recently in Dushanbe. Along her route she was joined by thousands of people, and met government officials and water experts.
“We have a problem. A water crisis. It’s urgent and it’s threatening our communities, our societies and our economies. I’ve seen it and I want the world to see it too,” says Guli, ‘not only to see it, but to take action to solve it’.
“We want to see action from companies- companies use almost 90% of the world’s freshwater, either directly or indirectly,” she says. ‘It’s actions from governments. But ultimately it’s action from all of us, everywhere’.
During the next three months, Guli will run marathons across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa. This leg of the RUN BLUE campaign will end in Cape Town, at the end of August, before moving on to Turkey, Europe, Latin America, Asia and the United States where it will finish on the steps of the United Nations in New York at the opening of the UN Summit on Water.
Guli will run through communities and areas most affected by the water crisis and meet people, companies, water experts and government officials, sharing their stories and lifting up their voices, putting water onto the global agenda and driving commitments to concrete action by companies and governments in Africa and around the world.
“I’m not expecting you to get out and run, but I am asking you to take action on water. To run your governments, your companies and your lives, blue. To assess your water risks, to protect our precious ecosystems and boost biodiversity, and to reach across borders and barriers to engage in collective action to protect the one thing we cannot live without,” she states.